Always the Last to Know

At Power Line, Steve Hayward writes on the “shocking” news that  Jim Walton, the president of CNN Worldwide, is stepping down:

While we’re watching the early innings of the collapse of the higher education bubble (the ultimate blue state edifice), we’re overlooking that the Mainstream Media bubble is collapsing even faster.  First comes the news that Jim Walton, the head of CNN, is stepping down.  For some reason the Puffington Host calls this news “shocking” on its home page.


I haven’t been able to quickly find the S-word being deployed by the HuffPo; I assume it was in earlier eddition of the homepage, but I’ll take Steve’s word for it.

But it’s not like there weren’t early warning signs of Walton’s exit, if one knew which obscure Websites to read. For example, in 2009  CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld wrote that “seven months after Barack Obama’s victory, CNN’s ratings have gone down the drain:”

Nine years ago, when FoxNews sprinted past CNN to become America’s number one news network, I attributed its ratings gains to the election of George Bush and the triumph of Fox-watching conservatives. I figured conservatives would be savoring their victory while liberals were averting their eyes in disgust. For the next eight years, I measured political sentiment in the United States by comparing the size of the FoxNews audience with the combined size of the CNN/MSNBC audience. In this space, I even predicted, with reasonable accuracy, the percent by which Barack Obama won the election based on the split in the news audience.

Now, seven months after Barack Obama’s victory, CNN’s ratings have gone down the drain. From May of last year to May of this year, CNN lost 22% of its total primetime audience. MSNBC was down 2%, while FoxNews was up 24%. In the key advertising demographic (25-54), Fox was up 31%, CNN was down 37% and MSNBC was down 26%. In hard numbers, Fox had 109,000 more viewers than last year while CNN lost 113,000. CNN averaged fewer than 200,000 25-54 viewers in primetime. Even MSNBC averaged more viewers than that.

Total day was nearly as bad, with Fox up 24% and CNN down 7%. MSNBC was down 2% in total viewing. Fox is beating CNN almost two-to-one in most categories.

There’s no need to throw any more numbers at you–Fox is gaining, CNN is wilting. Why is this happening when the country still seems about 58-42 in favor of Obama? My best guess is the passion of those who detest Democrats, liberals, and in particular, Barack Obama.


You already know where Schonfeld wrote that don’t you? Of course — the Huffington Post.

Steve Hayward as a modest proposal for CNN to salvage its ratings:

Here’s an idea: hire Mark Steyn and/or Hugh Hewitt to do a daily one-hour show, and watch your ratings soar.  A network that had the wit to do some serious conservative news would peel off a lot of viewers from the unserious O’Reilly Factor.

Oh sure, next you’re going to tell me that CNN should hire Glenn Beck.

Oh wait, what’s that you say? They did — and they let him go for Joy Behar (who’s also since departed), and replaced lovable ol’ curmudgeon Larry King with a British toff virtually unknown to most Americans — who in turn understands less about America than its current president? And (speaking of whom) the network hired a pair of Rev. Wright’s acolytes as show hosts?

And all the while paying lip service to the outmoded model of “objectivity” out of one side of their lavalier, and out of the other, never failing to show their fealty to both Barack Obama and whichever tin-plated foreign tyrant gives them access to a live feed:

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Nope, can’t understand why the network would be having ratings difficulties.


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